By Toni G. Atkins
February is a short month where we manage to squeeze in celebrations of history, leadership, and love.
This year, as we honor Black History Month, I am so proud to have Kamala Harris serving as our Vice President of the United States, and for the first time ever, we are honoring a Black woman on our nation’s currency. For me, Vice President Harris and the glorious Maya Angelou have often been sources of inspiration and hope, and I know that will continue to be true for millions of others as well, now and in the future.
This year, one great example of the kind of leadership we look to celebrate on Presidents Day comes from the Biden Administration providing free COVID-19 masks and tests. The masks can be found at local pharmacies, and for tests, you can go to COVIDtests.gov to place your order. Facing this never-seen-before, constantly-changing virus, I believe Joe Biden is rising to meet the challenge thoughtfully and empathetically in ever-swirling circumstances.
Valentine’s Day is the time we set aside to show special attention and spoil the ones we love. Except for our pets, it seems, as Mia and Joey have somehow managed to stretch that spoiling out to 365 days a year. This year it is a good time to remember there are a lot of ways to offer expressions of love: Donating blood, shopping for an elderly neighbor or setting up a Zoom with friends you may not have seen in years. And, yes, you can also show your love for others by masking, vaxxing, and encouraging others to do the same—good ways we can use this short month to put this long struggle behind us. Jennifer and I wish you and yours a most Happy Valentine’s Day.
As Maya Angelou said, “I know that love saves me and it is here to save us all.”
— Toni G. Atkins is President pro Tempore of the California Senate. Visit sd39.senate.ca.gov/contact to contact her.